December 7, 2015

COLUMBUS, Ohio – A collaborative partnership including The Ohio State University, Columbus Early Learning Centers, National Church Residences, Partners Achieving Community Transformation (PACT) and the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority, announces the opening of the new Champion Intergenerational Enrichment and Education Center in the Columbus Near East Side neighborhood.
Under one roof, this nationally unique intergenerational center provides early childhood education through Columbus Early Learning Centers and senior services through the National Church Residences adult day program, with leadership in intergenerational programming by Ohio State Colleges of Medicine, Nursing and Social Work.  Purposeful faculty involvement and student training will focus on health, wellness and social support across the lifespan; advancing best practices, quality of life, and lifelong learning for the attendees and the neighborhood.
The center, located at 240 North Champion Ave., is part of a comprehensive, long-term strategy by PACT, Ohio State, the City of Columbus and other neighborhood partners to redevelop and invest in the Near East Side and its residents by meeting their current and future needs.
“We made a promise to the community, and this is one example of fulfilling that promise,” said Trudy Bartley, executive director of PACT. “This center embraces a model of intergenerational care and support that’s unique to Columbus and visionary among a handful of such centers across the country.”
“Children will have a safe place to play, learn and form mutually-beneficial and meaningful relationships with older adults through daily enriching activities such as gardening, cooking, reading, games and other hands-on projects,” said Gina M. Ginn, PhD, executive director of Columbus Early Learning Centers.”
Adults will enjoy new experiences through intergenerational social engagement, learning opportunities such as falls prevention, and convenient on-site access to health screenings, wellness support and social services. 
“National Church Residences has always taken great pride in being an innovator in supporting older adults. We consider it a privilege to be part of the Champion Intergenerational Center,” said Mark Ricketts, president and CEO of National Church Residences. “This program that embraces a cross-generational approach, focused on meeting the needs of two vulnerable populations, aligns perfectly with the mission of our organization.” 
The center is expected to serve approximately 52 children and 50 older adults every weekday. It will also enhance family support through offerings of classes and programs to support families across the generations.  
Media Contact: Marti Leitch, Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center, 614-293-3737,